Start Network


Since its inception, the Start Network has brokered relationships between its member agencies, their partners and other stakeholders, to bring about behaviour change. In this journey we have learned two things: that there are many different ways to deliver these behavioural changes, and that it is difficult to change behaviour and institutional practice.

We have seen organisational boundaries becoming more porous as member agencies start to share their expertise, resources and people. For the Start Network, these changes in institutions, agencies, organisations, people and relationships are critical if we are to deliver lasting change.

Our change model is built primarily on the need to shift behaviours and relationships and this influences the way we understand and measure impact.

The Start Network is testing alternative ways to create humanitarian preparedness and response and this helps us to locate financial and human/intellectual resources where they can be used effectively, driven by the influence of those in the affected community. By demonstrating localisation in practice, we can challenge the wider humanitarian system and encourage others to adapt their behaviour in this direction.

Localisation has been central to the the Start Network vision since its inception. All of our work is directed towards bringing humanitarian thinking and action closer to communities.

Our work over the past year shows how far we have come on this journey, particularly when we see the way that our members, through collaboration, have contributed to innovative systems for emergency preparedness and response, providing examples of localisation in practice.

Evaluations and Annual reports


DEPP Evaluation Summative Phase Report

This report provides the summative results from the three-year external impact evaluation of the Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP) conducted by a team at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI).



Start Network Annual report 2017

Start Network's first annual report showcases its collective efforts to revolutionise the humanitarian aid system. Access the English report here, the report is also available in Arabic, French and Spanish.



التقرير السنوي لشبكة ستارت 2017

Start Network's first annual report showcases its collective efforts to revolutionise the humanitarian aid system. Access the Arabic report here, the report is also available in English, French and Spanish.



Start Network Rapport annuel 2017

Start Network's first annual report showcases its collective efforts to revolutionise the humanitarian aid system. Access the French report here, the report is also available in Arabic, English and Spanish.



Informe Anual de Start Network de 2017

Start Network's first annual report showcases its collective efforts to revolutionise the humanitarian aid system. Access the Spanish report here, the report is also available in Arabic, English and French.



Start Fund Annual Report 2018

Now moving into its fifth year of operation, the Start Fund is the fastest collectively-owned funding mechanism in the world. It is a leading enabler of rapid, needs-driven humanitarian response for overlooked crises. Filling a critical gap in humanitarian financing, it pools funding from donors for immediate release for crises around the world. In its fourth year alone the Start Fund spent over £8.8 million responding to the unmet needs of 2,050,546 people across 44 crises in 31 countries. Find out more about the work of the Start Fund, including our performance, how we are meeting our commitments to the Grand Bargain, our Anticipation Window, and why we hold localisation at the heart of our work.



Migration Emergency Response Fund Annual Report 2017

Over the past year, the Start Network has tested the flexibility of the Start Fund mechanism applied to one specific and highly volatile crisis context. The Mediterranean migration crisis has provided a testing platform for NGOs to use the Start Network’s peer review decision-making process to respond in one complex crisis. It aims to respond to rapidly changing contexts, spikes and emerging unforeseen needs within wider and highly politicised humanitarian response. The Migration Emergency Response Fund (MERF), funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), was established in January 2017 in partnership with the 15 member representatives of the Start Network present in the region. Its aim is to address the unpredictable nature of the mixed migration crisis across the Mediterranean that exacerbated an already difficult operating context for aid workers and made it difficult to plan for a response. 



Libya: Refugees and Migrants’ Access to Resources, Housing and Healthcare

Refugees and migrants in Libya are among the most vulnerable groups in the context of the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Due to the elevated level of insecurity and to the criminalisation of undocumented migrants, many are held in detention centres, with a number of studies pointing to their inadequate living conditions. On the other hand, very limited information is available on the protection needs and coping strategies of the wider population of refugees and migrants living outside detention facilities in Libya. In response to this gap, REACH, in partnership with the Start Network and NGO International Medical Corps conducted an assessment in three locations in Libya: Tripoli, Misrata and Sebha to shed light on refugees and migrants’ access to economic resources, housing and healthcare. The assessment was funded by the Migration Emergency Response Fund – managed by the Start Network – through its mechanism for collective information collection and analysis grants. REACH facilitates the development of information tools and products that enhance the capacity of aid actors to make evidence-based decisions in emergency, recovery and development contexts. For more information, please visit their website 



Impact of the Context Staff Development project

From May 2015 to December 2017, RedR UK ran Context, an innovative professional development training programme, in the Middle East and East Africa. The programme was part of the Talent Development project, one of the many projects in the Disasters Emergencies Preparedness Programme . Context - an initiative of the Start Network, led globally by Oxfam GB with the support of UK Aid - is a comprehensive, dynamic staff development programme for humanitarian organisations. It aims to raise standards and quality in future humanitarian responses by building core skills as well as leadership and management capacity among humanitarian staff - especially national staff, who are increasingly at the forefront of humanitarian response. The project uses the Core Humanitarian Competencies Framework (CHCF) to develop staff skills across the wide range of competencies needed to work effectively in the humanitarian sector.



External Evaluation of the Start Fund: Progress, Performance & Future Plans

The Start Fund provides rapid financing to underfunded small to medium scale crises, spikes in chronic humanitarian crises, and to act in anticipation of impending crises, filling a critical gap in humanitarian financing.



Start Fund Crisis Anticipation Window Annual Report 2017

The Start Fund opened its Crisis Anticipation Window in November 2016. In this report we set out the changes we have made so far, identify what we’ve learned during its first year and explain the plan to normalise and embed anticipation across the Start Network.



Drought Financing Facility summary

The purpose of this report is to give an overview of the way the Drought Financing Facility is designed, including two proposed pilots in Zimbabwe and Pakistan.